NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at NY Islanders
(Thursday, February 26th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 6, NY Islanders 3
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Jaromir Jagr and Chris Simon both scored twice, leading the Rangers to a 6-3 win over the Islanders in the debut of head coach Tom Renney at Nassau Coliseum.
Renney took over for president and general manager Glen Sather, who stepped down on Wednesday as the team's head coach. The Rangers, who have not seen the postseason since 1997, ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-13-2 in their last 20 games.
"It's a vision. It's a ways out there, but we have our eye on it," Renney said of his team's distant playoff hopes.
Brian Leetch and Bobby Holik had a goal and two assists apiece as the Rangers went 6-0 in the season series with the crosstown rival Islanders. The last time the Rangers swept the Islanders in a season series was when they went 5-0 during the 1998-99 season.
The Rangers also went 6-0 versus the Isles in 1972-73 -- the Islanders' inaugural season.
"We're not worried about the Rangers," Isles defenseman Adrian Aucoin said after the game. "I don't think the Rangers are going to catch anybody."
Mike Dunham turned aside 25 of the 28 shots he faced for the win.
Janne Niinimaa, Mariusz Czerkawski and Sven Butenschon provided the scoring for the Islanders, who suffered their first loss in 10 home games (6-1-3). The Isles needed two goaltenders in this one as Garth Snow made 15 saves and Rick DiPietro stopped four shots.
The Islanders, who are 7-3-5-1 in their last 16 games overall, had a goal waived off almost two minutes into the opening period because Jason Blake was whistled for interference.
Play then continued with four players on each side and the Rangers grabbed a 1-0 lead on Leetch's 12th goal at 2:39. Leetch gathered a loose puck at center ice and unloaded a shot just inside the blue line through Snow's pads.
Jagr then extended his points scoring streak to eight games when he beat Snow at the 4:35 mark. An off-balance Jagr made a great play for a 2-0 edge after he snapped the puck off the goaltender's right pad from behind the cage. The Isles then sent DiPietro between the pipes.
After a melee ensued along the boards midway through the first period, the Rangers were given a 5-on-3 advantage. They didn't take long to make it a 3-0 contest as Holik cashed in a power play at 10:05. Holik whacked in his own rebound off a nice feed from Jagr.
"It was a huge momentum swing for us," Rangers forward Matthew Barnaby said of the power-play opportunity. "It's always nice to win in a rivalry game."
The Rangers continued to toy with their rivals and scored the first three goals of the second period.
Jagr netted a power-play marker just 35 seconds into the frame. He skated from the back boards to the right of DiPietro and backhanded the puck into the net for a 4-0 cushion.
Less than two minutes later, Simon recorded an unassisted goal at 2:11 and sent DiPietro to the bench in favor of Snow. Simon later netted his second goal of the night at 6:49 and the Rangers were ahead, 6-0.
The Islanders finally reached the scoreboard on Niinimaa's sixth goal at the 12:00 mark of the second. The defenseman beat Dunham stick side with a wrist shot from between the circles.
Czerkawski's 22nd goal of the season with 2:14 remaining in the second period pulled the Isles within 6-2. The Islanders looked poised for a comeback and trimmed the lead to three on Butenschon's goal 1:53 into the third period.
The Rangers played tough the rest of the way and squelched any comeback hopes of the Islanders.
Jagr has seven goals during his scoring streak. He also had an assist and now has 25 goals this season...Butenschon posted his first goal since April 7, 2001. He has two for his career...Renney, who coached in Vancouver from June 1996 to November of 1997, posted a 39-53-9 in 101 games for the Canucks...The Rangers are 2-4-1 in their last seven road games...The Rangers went 2-for-6 on the power play and killed off each of the Islanders' five chances with the extra skater...Dunham is 10-2-2 lifetime versus the Isles...The Rangers are 8-0-2 in the last 10 meetings with the Islanders...Islanders captain Michael Peca left in the first period with a laceration on his left leg. He was hit on a slapshot by Tom Poti.
02/26 23:26:31 ET